I suppose that companies could at any time have cancelled health coverage as a job benefit for their employees prior to the new law. But, wholsale, most didn't. Why? I don't know, maybe they have more concern for their employees than they are usually given credit for than to leave them without coverage? They made changes, perhaps increasing co-premiums and co-payments, choosing plans that covered less, but they didn't discontinue coverage. The new law gives them an alternative, an economic incentive, to drop coverage, knowing that the employees will still have coverage through a government exchange.
The plan I currently have costs my employer about $4,000 per year for myself and my husband, of which I pay out of payroll deductions about $400. per year. Under the new exchanges the cheapest plan is estimated at $5,000 per year per person. I didn't see an estimate for the cost of a couple, but assuming that it is priced as insurers typically price it, it would probably be about $8,000. If not it would cost us $10,000 per year. Not only can I not keep my current plan, but we will be forced under penalty of law to pay this exhorbitant increase out of our budget, which we don't have. That's like having an additional mortgage payment for us. Where does the government think that lower middle class people are supposed to get that kind of money? We may qualify for some government subsidy, although our income level has never qualified us for any type of government subsidy in the past, but certainly not enough to cover a significant portion of the increase. We always seem to be a few dollars above the threshold for any type of assistance. Maybe this will be different? Who knows. I guess time will tell.
In any event, I can't keep my current plan, have no guarantee that my doctor will be in any plan that I can afford, and it will cost us much more. So yeah, I feel that Obama lied and knew exactly what he was doing and what the ramifications would be. This is nothing more than a redistribution of wealth scheme on his part, in my opinion.
I agree, the fines should have been much higher, or something should have been written into the bill that would not allow businesses who currently offer coverage as a benefit to drop it in lieu of a fine.